The University mission statement grew out of its charter, a document bold enough to create a governance structure for a school with no home, professors or students. The motley crew of New England Baptists and intellectuals that gathered in Newport in 1764 — the original Corporation — had their charter signed by the Royal Governor of Rhode Island, who was appointed by King George III. They could never have foreseen the Watson Institute for International Studies, the Alpert Medical School, the Ivy League, celebrity students or the sprawling, global institution the University has become.
Student and faculty reactions to the School of Engineering and the proposed school of public health have been tamer compared to the debate preceding the opening of the Med School in the 1970s. There is no consensus on whether the schools of engineering and public health indicate a drift from the University’s mission, and it remains unanswered if and how the shift in focus away from the central College affects Brown’s undergraduate experience.